In an interview to Restaurant India, Devna Khanna – Director, i2i Consulting which is the India Trade Representative for the California Walnut Commission talks about its market.
Tell us about the International representation of the brand?
The California Walnut Commission was established in 1987 under California law. The Commission is mainly involved in health research and export market development activities. There are more than 4,800 growers and close to 100 handlers in the state of California. The Commission conducts extensive health and nutrition research. Ms. Devna Khanna – Director, i2i Consulting is the India Trade Representative for the California Walnut Commission.
What are the strategies used to promoting Brands?
CWC aims at increasing the number of players for California Walnuts in the Indian market ultimately which will lead to reaching the target audience. Strategies include participation in Trade Shows, organizing Trade Seminars to bring together the stakeholders on a common platform to discuss the way forward to develop the market, organizing Culinary/Menu promotions where in California Walnuts would be used as the main ingredient, Promotions in Culinary Institutes among budding chefs and making them aware of California Walnuts and how they can incorporate them in their recipe creations. CWC increases awareness on the health and nutritional benefits of Walnuts. As research shows it is the only Nut that contains significant amount of plant-based ALA Omega-3 fatty acids, critical to various body processes, we would like to increase awareness among Indian population to remain fit and healthy. California walnuts are not only ‘Heart-healthy’, the versatility of walnuts also add flavor and texture to all kinds of recipes, from salads to desserts, baked goods to entrees, and sides to smoothies, apart from making gluten-free crusts and coatings.
What are the trading prospects in India?
The population of the country is becoming more health conscious and is opting for a healthy life-style. The demand for choice of healthy and nutritious products is on the rise and therefore, there is considerable increase in walnuts in one’s daily diet. The Indian consumer is well travelled and there is an inclination towards better and premium quality products. The Indian market poses great opportunities for California Walnuts.
How Trade Servicing increases the demand in the market?
Trade Servicing assists in introducing and connecting the buyers and the exporters to enhance the market for the product. Moreover, one-on-one interactions and meetings are of great importance to discuss various ways in which the market can be developed. Walnuts are now beginning to be consumed year-round owing to better understanding of their health benefits and easy availability.
Due to extra-ordinary health benefits walnuts are getting popular especially among health conscious young Indians as a part of their regular diet. Growing economy, changing lifestyles, rise in disposable incomes and preference for quality and nutritious products have increased demand.
What is the health benefit of adding walnuts to the foods especially in the soups and sauces?
Walnuts are an ideal choice for a nut-thickened sauce because their polyunsaturated fats contributes to a smooth and creamy mouth feel, and the finely ground nut flour has superior thickening power.
Walnuts not only contribute a great flavor and texture, but they also add nutritional value to the sauce as well. In addition to the antioxidants and essential ALA/omega-3 fatty acid, an ounce of heart healthy walnuts provides a convenient source of protein and fiber. Names such as “red pepper walnut puree”, “tomato-walnut pesto,” are increasingly becoming popular.
We see that new age chefs are going back to the roots by using these super foods in their cooking. Why so?
California walnuts offer a unique flavor and texture, making them wonderfully versatile for both savory and sweet foodservice applications. As a result, chefs and menu makers around the world are finding increasingly new and exciting ways to incorporate walnuts. Try adding nutty crunch to a salad, a delicious coating to poultry and fish, or creating a creamy and wholesome thickener for sauces when ground into meal.
What is your plan expanding the brand right into the market?
California Walnuts are quite popular and have already secured a place on the shelves of organized retail formats reaching the end consumer. By enhancing and accelerating the trade we can ensure larger volumes of California Walnuts entering the Indian market. In addition, brand development and expansion is also a priority. We plan to feature and participate in upcoming trade shows in different cities across the country to generate more awareness amongst the trade. We would like to further increase awareness on health and nutritional benefits of consumption of Walnut as a health snack option among the Indian masses. As research shows it is the only Nut that contains significant amount of plant-based ALA Omega-3 fatty acids, critical to various body processes, as an “heart-healthy” nut, we encourage everyone to make them part of their daily diet.